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Malaysia

The Last of Malaysia

December 3, 2016

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Free People dress
Luiny belt
Wanderlust and Co. earrings
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And the day has come to wrap up my photo escapades from Malaysia. I became a little teary eyed throughout the editing process of this blog post. It was indeed one of the most magical trips that I’ve taken in quite a long time. A learning experience. It was an exploration of one’s roots. A reconnection with family that I feel I didn’t have a chance to experience fully in the past. A physical adjustment to weather and food choice. Learning to adapt is a strength that I find very useful to have. An eye opening vision to a place that is so different from home, but so familiar at the exact same time. That last part is something I can’t stress more, and it is why I encourage people to travel as much as they can when they are in their twenties. There’s so much to learn out there in the world. Endless stories to share, as long as we are ready and able to listen. And if we weren’t good listeners before, maybe it can help us become better. There are cultural traditions to borrow from and pass along; to compare and contrast with our own, possibly unlocking a door within ourselves to ideas we never before held or even though out. As individuals, we are each a very small yet extremely significant parts of the process of this thing called cultural diffusion. A sort of globalization of the mind on a personal level.  Traveling is the best way to burst your bubble and see the world through the eyes of others. It’s a reminder that no matter where you are in your state in life, mentally and physically, the world goes round and round and round. And every single turn is just as important as the last.

Shop more Free People maxi dresses I love:

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8 comments
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A Special Energy in Malacca City

November 29, 2016

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Reformation dress
Sezane shoes
Salvatore Ferragamo purse
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Malacca City is a very special place indeed. I haven’t visited since I was a teenager, but the place still stood out clear in my mind since that visit. It was at the top of my list of places to come back to during my Malaysia trip. Malacca City is full of rich history and colorful diversity. This old city once had a major role in the trade routes, catching attention from all over the world, and especially that of Portugal, and then the Dutch and then the British, up until World War II when the Japanese invaded. It wasn’t until 1963 that Malaysia as a country declared its independence. So, as you can tell, there has been many stories told, and I’m sure many to tell, about this beautiful city. And the city, you can feel it as you walk through its streets full of restaurants and shops and temples, all the different sorts of feet and cultures that have made their ways down them, too. Malacca doesn’t work to hide its past, but embraces it so much as a matter of fact, that it’s inescapable in the present time. The smell of a type of food in the air, one that pulls ingredients from all over the world to create something so unique for our tastebuds. It’s hard not to salivate while walking the streets made up of Portuguese-style architecture. My favorite dish here is the Hainanese chicken and chicken rice. The city is actually known for their unique take on the chicken rice. Instead of served freshly steamed in a bowl, the rice is rolled into little balls that are to be eating as a whole after being be dipped into soy sauce, some chili sauce and maybe a dab of garlic. It’s something you can hardly find anywhere else in the world, and made as well done as it is made in Malacca, where the dish has been perfected through many generations time. The city is famous for snacks so delicious, it’s almost unimaginable that they could be real, and packaged in such an exquisite way. After the afternoon gloom broke up, the sunshine hit the buildings and the city seemed over-saturated in such a way that you feel you are walking around with tinted glasses on. It’s a city that feels perpetually rose-tinted, even when it rains. It’s undeniably amazing. The energy is wild, especially on the weekends, when tourists from other parts of Malaysia, not to mention from all over the world, explore the city and create their own path through it, leaving remnants to be built upon as time goes on. What a lovely thing to think about, ya?

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16 comments
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A Bit About Family

November 7, 2016

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Alpha Omega top
Mango shorts
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One of the most important aspects of visiting Kuala Lumpur was reigniting family ties. Growing up, we were sadly never that close to our father’s side of the family in Los Angeles, so big familial gatherings were never a regular thing. It was just something we were used to. And it was never a big deal because my father, my mother and my sister were always enough for me. It was all I ever needed. Family can be a very difficult thing. Differing point of views, a reluctance to go out of the way to catch up on each other’s lives as we head in new personal directions, arguments that can easily get blown out of proportion, etc. There are multiple reasons why the idea of family is a hard one. Growing up, I started to understand this more and more. And I show no bitterness to the side of my family that I hardly keep in touch with due to personal matters. But at the same time, I started to realize the importance of the side of the idea family that stands tall and strong. The parts of family that love you unconditionally and that give the most support (even in my case that support comes from hundreds of miles away). That even from miles away you can feel that love is still there. It’s important to grasp onto these things, and fill in every gap as much as you can. I filled a lot of internal gaps on this trip to Kuala Lumpur. And I found joy in seeing how much my mother’s side of the family has grown and developed in the most positive of ways after the past seven years. And it gives me joy to know that there will be even more good things to wrap myself up with the next time that I go.

Of course, no family is perfect. And this truth stands for both sides of my family. I have noticed and come to learn about a few broken pieces leftover from the past that still hurtfully resonate today with my family in Asia. Of course, this isn’t something I will go into detail here, but it is something that I have honestly been thinking a lot about lately. That at the heart of it, acceptance is one of the most beautiful and important things that come along with the familial territory. Without it, family doesn’t work the way that it should. I’ve opened my eyes to this multiple times. Take for example siblings. Most are complete opposites of each other, seeing eye to eye on the most rare of occasions. But at the end of the day, the contrast between them is what it is. It’s something that should be cherished and accepted. Something that promotes openness. I’ve always believed that family should be the first and foremast example of the act of opening your mind to different perspectives that closes the gap of narrow mindedness.

I felt lucky to go home to a place that I don’t go to that often, but to feel at the same time instantly a part of something. I cherished the time I got to spend with relatives I haven’t had the chance to get to know as much before. I got so used to the feeling of being surrounded by these familiar faces that it was hard to leave. But like a friend just recently told me, it is something that will always be there waiting for me whenever I need it.

So here I am with my some family members at the Thean Hou Temple, a beautiful Hainanese temple in Kuala Lumpur. Hainan is the southernmost and smallest province of China, where the roots of my family is from. I’m always so inspired by parts of my heritage, even if it’s just taking in little bits and pieces at a time.

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6 comments
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Hopelessly Devoted to Banana Leaf

November 4, 2016

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Free People dress
Dannijo earrings
Bally sandals
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When one is in Southeast Asia, anything flowing, oversized and breezy is a must. Because you will be sweating . . . all day. This country is though, in fact, a huge fan of air conditioning. But it isn’t something you can really rely on. You have to learn to love the heat. Not to mention the endless amounts of spicy foods to be found in the local Malaysia food scene. I can’t help but take everything hotter than hot with an extra side of spicier than spicy. In the South Indian culture, many dishes are served on top of a Banana Leaf, and it is one of my favorite things to eat when I’m visiting Malaysia. For those who haven’t tried it yet, make sure to come with a huge appetite and a strong stomach, because it’s A LOT of SPICY food. Banana leaf is actually an artistry, consisting of levels of portions and side dishes added to be eaten in a certain order and in certain combinations on top of the banana leaf. For me, I’m easy, and really pay no attention to a particular order. I only care about taste. And color. So a side of rice, red curry, a yellow lentil dahl and some spicy fried chicken and maybe some vegetable fritters to be dipped in a yogurt blend is good for me. This combination is everything. Just be careful not to splash any curry on your whites. That would be a nightmare, but also one that is well worth it.

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